OBITUARY

Ronald Westendorp

December 23, 1944September 28, 2020
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Ronald Lee Westendorp, born to Ed and Alice (VandenBerg) Westendorp on December 23, 1944, breathed his last and ran into the arms of Jesus on September 28, 2020. He is survived by Jan and their seven children Vince (Sandy) Westendorp, Geri (Phil) Witt, Gina (Dave) Mast, Ed (Onawa Terburg) Westendorp, Greg (Michelle) Westendorp, Wendy (Brian) Tillema, and Rose (John) Rakers; 21 grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren. He is also survived by his sister, Senetta Welker; sisters-in-law Ida Westendorp, Nancee Westendorp, and Cindy Mejeur; and many beloved nieces and nephews. Ron was preceded in death by his parents and his siblings Don, Ruth, Jake, Ed, Gary, and Al. Ron spent his life in and around Martin where he was raised on his dad’s farm and found his love for the land and country. After graduating from East Martin Christian School and Kalamazoo Christian High School, he then bought his own farm in 1965 (with a “little help” from his dad). Ron met Jan at Woodland Roller Rink in 1966, and both were smitten after the first skate. They married in 1967, and had hot rods for cars – Dad’s Tempest and Mom’s 1965 Mustang. The family grew fast as well, in 1968, 1969, 1972, 1975, and 1977 when Vince, Geri, Gina, Ed, and Greg were born. The family was blessed again in the 80s and 90s when Wendy and Rose were grafted into the family. The kids learned about waking up on time, as well as working hard. Baling hay in July was hot and hard work, as the elevator was sometimes loaded in such a way that it looked like there was only one long hay bale coming up, but those days always ended with a cool swim – often at Fenner Lake where Uncle Gary and Aunt Nancee had a summer home. The family farm became known as the Come Again Dairy Farm. It grew over the years in herd and acreage with the Kimmel farm becoming part of the property in 1974. The Holstein herd grew to 150 head. During these years, Ron met many great folks and recognized the importance of reliable farm animal transportation. By the late 80s, Ron and Jan choose to exit the dairy business and sold the herd in October 1989. Ron and Jan had worked with Bert Schipper for Come Again’s cattle hauling needs, and God’s timing and plan were revealed as they acquired Bert’s business due to his retirement. Renaming the business Come Again Trucking, Ron enjoyed this work. He was able to continue working with and meeting others in the ag world as they worked the land and provided for their families and communities. The long drives provided another chance to see the normal, everyday beauty of our world – and the chance to have ride-alongs from family and friends. By the early 2000s, since many grandkids had joined the family, Ron and Jan decided to build a more accessible home that worked for large gatherings. The house was finished in 2003, and Ron proudly returned to working the earth in the more personal scale of their garden. Huge amounts of vegetables and sweet corn became the norm, much to the delight of family and neighbors. Ron especially enjoyed making and sharing root beer floats with grandkids and guests. In recent years, Ron picked up a golf cart for garden use, although its real use was revealed when the grandkids wanted rides. He also used this cart for rides to the Come Again farmhouses, to see Ed’s family or Greg’s family, often finding recyclables or collectibles along the way, some of which caused great amusement for the family and visitors. In 2015, Ron and Jan sold the livestock hauling business and said they were retired. But this was just a shift, as they focused they energy to other good things. Ron became the chief expediter for Ed’s Truck Repair and often had grandkids and others riding shotgun. Ron and Jan both spent many hours helping at the Martin Resource Center. Ron and Jan also spent more and more time facing the challenges of certain heart and lung issues. Ron knew that he was loved by our God and saved by grace through his Savior Jesus Christ. In turn, he cared deeply for the church and school, enjoyed serving as a deacon, elder, and board member through the years. His abiding desire was that every person he met would grow to know our creator God as their personal Lord and Savior. Over the past weeks, Ron’s physical health declined too quickly, and yet, he remained sharp, willing to enjoy the company of family and friends. He remained in good spirits and was primarily concerned with Jan’s health and care. There were good days where our hopes would bounce up, and challenging days where he spoke in ways to prepare us for when he would leave us to go to his Eternal Home. On one of these good days, Ron decided to hop on the golf cart for another drive around the block. On this ride – like so many other times when driving around on tractors, trucks, and this cart – he found friends and family to talk with and took 60 minutes to make a 20 minute trip. So, the family is sad that Ron has left us for now and excited that he will be waiting for us in heaven. Everyone will someday depart this imperfect earth, and may each hear His master reply, “Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!” (Matthew 25:21) As we grieve and celebrate together, please respect and utilize the current guidance with respect to COVID. We are grateful for the travel and other sacrifices being made during this time of remembrance. If you or a loved one is showing symptoms, please consider joining us via live streaming during the service of remembrance (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fLob99x9FcM&feature=youtu.be). Visitation will be held Friday, October 2 from 2:00 - 4:00 PM and 6:00 - 8:00 PM at Martin Reformed Church, 1073 W. Allegan St., Martin, MI. Funeral services begin at noon on Saturday, October 3 at Martin Reformed Church, with one hour of visitation prior to the service. A luncheon will immediately follow the funeral service. In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to Martin Resource Center, Martin Reformed Church, or East Martin Christian Schools. The family welcomes memories and messages in their online guestbook at www.kubiakcookwayland.com.

Services

  • Visitation

    Friday, October 2, 2020

  • Visitation

    Saturday, October 3, 2020

  • Funeral Service

    Saturday, October 3, 2020

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Memories

Ronald Westendorp

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Teresa Bergsma

October 3, 2020

Aunt Jan and my Westendorp cousins - though we couldn’t be there in person today we did celebrate Uncle Ron by joining in the livestream service. What a nice message, very reflective on who Ron was! Know that we didn’t see him often, but will never forget the ‘smile that lit up his eyes’!! He will be missed here on earth, but we will see him in heaven. We joked that he now is joining dad and uncle Klaas, to ‘horse around’ some more! Condolences to you all, you’re in our prayers for the difficult days ahead!
God Bless!
Wilma, Shirley, Sandra and Teresa

Pieter Koopman

October 3, 2020

Ron and Jan became part of my life first when they visited us in the Netherlands in 1997 and especially since 2001 when I stayed with them for three months. Looking back it is still one of the best parts of my life, mainly because Ron and Jan. They adopted me into their family, they showed me around, took me to a lot of interesting places, they made my time with them wonderfull. In 2013 Ron and Jan visited me on my wedding with Renae here in Alberta Canada. Since living here I always had a visit in mind to visit the Westendorps again with my family but the Lord decided that we won't see uncle Ron again until we meet him in the new Jerusalem. We pray for comfort and peace for family and friends especially for Jan. Ron and Jan were a good example of a loving couple, the way our heavenly Father intended marriage. Uncle Ron will be greatly missed but we will remember him untill we meet again.

Doug and Mary VanDerMeulen

October 2, 2020

Jan, Vince, Geri, Gina, Ed, Greg, Wendy, Rose and all the families,
We are so sorry in the loss of Ron. He was a dear man who was be always smiling and friendly. We have many fond memories of years gone by. We pray that God will stay close to all of you now and give you all the comfort , grace and peace that you need right now and in the weeks to come. We can’t be there this weekend cause we are out of town, but, please know that we send our love , hugs and prayers to you all as you go through this sad time. Sad for you but rejoicing with Ron in heaven walking hand in hand with Jesus. What a special day that will be. Our love to all.

Florence (nee DeJong) Potter

October 1, 2020

Dear Jan & Family,
I wish to extend my sympathy in the passing of Ron. My brother-in-law was Donald Westendorp and was married to my sister, Julia. I grew up in Martin and knew all of the original Westendorp clan. It brings back a lot of memories of days gone by. I am now 79 yrs old and living in Dorr, MI. My husband, Herman Jay Potter, passed away 5 years ago. He hauled cattle to the local auctions and I think Ron did that also at one time. Farming was a part of their lives no matter how old they were.

My thoughts and prayers go out to your family . Florence (DeJong) Potter

Carol Harwood

September 30, 2020

Ron will be missed by more than he could imagine. Always a smile always willing to help. My first memory was visiting Jan, years ago, while she was recouping from surgery, he went and cut cake and served us tea... I loved him right on the spot. The perfect couple in my eyes. He was a blessing to me, from offering to help with whatever and bringing his awesome produce.
I'll help hold Jan's hand Ron. Heaven is a brighter place now.
Signed 'Trouble' his nickname for me

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